BattleTech

Hello there,

My initial idea for the Hyades Rim came when I started playing the new BattleTech after it was released. I remember being initially frustrated that I couldn't explore the star map right away and being restricted to the Periphery until the campaign was explored (and started modding the game right away). While I haven't played much BattleTech over the years, and it was mainly limited to a few hours of tabletop during the 80s using cardboard 'Mech figures, and the Crescent Hawk and MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries videogames, I was hooked into its universe and bought as many novels and sourcebooks as I could.

Even still, I loved the campaign and career modes and played over a thousand hours of it, most of it unmodded. But when the Urban Warfare DLC was released, I realized that I could make a mod similar to that DLC that would allow me to explore more of the Periphery, which was my main interest since the Inner Sphere and the Succession Wars are great stories but the endless cycle of politics and warfare starts getting too repeated after a while. And while the Clan Invasion and posterior FedCom Civil War, Jihad, etc., are also great stories, the 3025 era was what got me into BattleTech in the first place.

So my initial effort was to expand the star map into the canonical region of the Hyades Rim, and to implement as much of the 3025 canon as possible, specially the missing Unseen 'Mechs. And at the same time to keep the mod as simple as possible, without bothering with implementing the current tabletop mechanics since I never played with those. And when it became clear that each new BattleTech version release would break most of the existing mods until they were updated, I made a design decision to keep the Hyades Rim independent of any other mods, and stick to the vanilla standard to avoid the hassles of several different standards, that plagued the modding community since there was no official mod support.

While for most of its development I focused on sticking to canon, while adding the new star systems I realized that the old Inner Sphere factions didn't work anymore for that region, even with adding their specific BattleMechs, since the region had no role during the 4th Succession War, so I started added specific pirate factions and designing some crazy 'Mech configurations that in some cases make no sense if you consider them from a gameplay efficiency view, but that would reflect the identity and characteristics of those factions. And one of few drawbacks I noticed while playing Urban Warfare was that it was very rare to fight against an ECM equipped opponent, and that it was a waste of game resources, and boring, if only the player got access to the new toys. 

And when the last DLC, Heavy Metal, was announced and released, specially with its references to the 'Unnamed' clan, I also realized that sticking to canon regarding the universe and its stories was a limiting factor. The Inner Sphere and the BT universe comprise thousands of worlds and trillions of people, and while there's an overall historical path and narrative, it also leaves a lot of space for parallel stories to take place, like the Heavy Metal mini-campaign. And that I already had new systems, cast, factions and 'Mech variants to be the basis of a whole new story, like the Arano Restoration campaign. So from that moment my focus turned to learning how to write new Flashpoints and events, with the overall Periphery theme I had already implemented.

So where does all of this lead to?

At the current time my intentions are to write four separate mini-campaigns, with a planned total of around 12 new Flashpoints. Four of those are already done, and released as standalone as teasers, and I have a fairly good idea for the remaining ones. I'm not actually a programmer/coder but I've been a writer and modder for most of my life, and I always wanted to write a BattleTech story, so this has been challenging and the learning curve a bit steep sometimes, but also very engaging and fun.

So, if you're looking for tabletop mechanics, gameplay alterations, or another era than 3025, this mod has none of those. But if you're looking for a mix of the BattleTech canon and new material, written respecting its style and guidelines, then I hope you enjoy The Hyades Rim.

"Slavish adherence to a formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about." - Natasha Kerensky, Blood Legacy. ;)

Hobbes

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Hobbes77

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